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What is there left for you to eat?!?

A story about real for-serious gut trouble and discovery:

A short while ago, for a few months I had been suffering with unpleasant and quite intense intestinal issues. At first I thought I had some terrible ailment which might not be curable. Hoping for the best that maybe it was something I was eating I began the internet discovery game. I searched and read and read and searched. What I found was that food sensitivities affect oodles of people and ruffles the entire body. The short list of things I was experiencing: bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, inflammation and achy joints, fatigue, and headaches. Yep, that matched up to my findings on the interwebs.

But… discovering where the problem foods/drinks are is quite an adventure. First I eliminated the obvious culprits - beans, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, onions, garlic, beer, and bread. Still having trouble. Then I reviewed the FODMAP diet and followed that for a bit, with little success, though I think I was getting small amounts of various things because, well, I was not feeling well and not being diligent enough. What was I missing? Then I jumped on an organized 5 day whole foods detox, eliminating gluten, sugar, dairy, and processed foods. That did it! After the 4th day my gut and my joints felt much better and I was stoked! Dropped a few pounds too. Every day felt a little better and more normal. I now have the roadmap to feeling good: stay away from gluten, sugar, and processed foods - oh and potatoes seem to bother me a bit.

Then… well… I was traveling and had not packed enough to get me all the way home, so a restaurant meal with some mystery sauce broke me again. Might have been MSG. Recovery from that was another few days. A couple of weeks went by and I felt better and better, getting back to my regular activity levels and enjoying a lot more of my life.

A week or so later I visited my mom in northern Michigan for a string of days, with lots of activities and tasks. My brother Brian and my sil Heidi dropped in as well. One afternoon Heidi and I baked a beautiful apple pie with the flakiest crust you can imagine. We shared the pie with the neighbor and the rest remained in the house. Wouldn’t you know, after a couple of glasses of mead I thought to myself - Self, one little sliver of that pie probably won’t cause too much trouble. And that crust looks amazing. So I did. I ate a tiny sliver of apple pie with a delightful wheat crust. Then, you guessed it, all the bad belly feelings and joint pain came back with vengeance. Seriously terrible night and a few days of recovery. I wish I had eaten the entire pie for as bad as I felt.

If you know me, or have shared a meal with me you know that I don’t eat animals nor animal products. Not judging, simply sharing a bit of my story. Now, getting back to the original question asked by Barb, a dear friend of mine, “What is there left for you to eat?”

Just for fun, I want to list the items I have eaten today.

Black beans

Black rice







Flax seed

Various spices


Spring mixed greens








Sweet potato

Refried beans


Corn tortillas


Green onions


Miso soup

So, you can see there are plenty of food options for a whole food, plant based, gluten free human.

Wishing you a happy belly.


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